Saul Alvarez returned after losing his unbeaten record to Floyd Mayweather Jr last September by scoring a 10th round tko win over Alfredo Angulo at the MGM Grand in Les Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.
Canelo (43-1-1, 31 KOs) landed a vicious left uppercut that rocked “El Perro’s” head back at 0:47 of the 10th round. Sensing Angulo was taking too much punishment, referee Tony Weeks stepped in and halted the exciting battle.
Looking to bounce back from the first loss of his career when he faced pound-for-pound champ Floyd Mayweather last September, Canelo displayed vicious accuracy and a devastating left hook as he controlled the bout from the opening bell. Angulo gained some momentum in the second half of the fight, including a scintillating eighth round, which Angulo won on all three judges’ scorecards. The two Mexican warriors exchanged blows and taunted each other for more punishment in a potential 2014 Round of the Year candidate.
Despite the sensational action in the eighth, it was clear Canelo was in control throughout. Angulo’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, threatened to stop the fight between the ninth and 10th rounds if he didn’t see more action from his fighter.
“The referee is the marshal,” Canelo said. “He has the order. He is the chief and he stopped the fight because he knew what was going on. I was doing my job. This is the law of the ring. I could have fought another 10 rounds, but the referee stopped the fight.”
Angulo was visibly frustrated and passionately protested the stoppage, pleading his case after losing the biggest fight his career.
“I’m upset because they should have let the fight go on,” Angulo said. “I’m frustrated. They should have let it go to the end. I’m fine. The referee was wrong this time.”
Hunter agreed: “Of course I’m very upset. I told the doctor if Canelo got two or three consecutive punches on him I would stop the fight. He only landed one punch and they stopped the fight. Everybody knows Alfredo was coming on strong.”
In a post-fight interview with Showtime reporter Jim Gray, Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Francisco Aguilar defended Weeks’ decision.
“After speaking with Tony and the doctor, I think it’s understandable why the decision was made,” Aguilar said. “Tony made his decision and he made his decision with the consultation of a doctor.
“Our job as a commission is to ensure the health and safety of our fighters. We don’t want the referee to determine the outcome of the fight but he made the decision to protect the health of the fighter.”
Regardless of the nature of his victory, Canelo proved that he is back and showed that he is still one of boxing’s brightest stars.
“Tonight I was the best fighter,” Canelo said. “I definitely rebounded from the Mayweather fight with a strong performance today. I’m very happy. I came in here and did my job.”
All the results from Las Vegas
light middleweight Saul Alvarez w tko 10 Alfredo Angulo
WBC super bantamweight title Leo Santa Cruz w pts 12 Cristian Mijares
vacant WBC International lightweight title Sergio Thompson w pts 10 Ricardo Alvarez
lightweight Jorge Linares w pts 10 Nihito Arakawa
super featherweight Jerry Belmontes w pts 10 Will Tomlinson
super featherweight Francisco Vargas w pts 10 Abner Cotto
super bantamweight Joseph Diaz w tko 5 Jiovany Fuentes
light welterweight Keandre Gibson w tko 4 Antonio Wong
cruiserweight Steve Lovett w ko 2 Francisco Molina
March 8, 2014